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Product vs. Service Marketing: How to Approach Social Media the Right Way

Social media is an integral part of modern marketing. However, the approach to social media marketing can vary significantly depending on whether you’re promoting a product or a service. If you’re a government entity, there are no shiny products to share on Instagram, just helpful information and public servants. On the other hand, visuals make a big headway for many products these days. 

How should you approach social media if you’re selling a product or a service? Let’s get into it. 

Start with Your Content Strategy

Share-worthy content is useful for product or service businesses. But how do you know what that is? Start with a strategy. What message are you trying to get across? Who are you trying to reach? What do they care about? Answer these questions and you’ll have a strong foundation for brainstorming content. From that you can start building out content ideas and how best to implement them. 

Just to give you some ideas, product launches, demonstrations, and product-related news are great places to start while service-based content could emphasize case studies, client success stories, educational materials, and showcasing the expertise of your team.

What works best for the two different categories? Let’s dive even further. 

kid jumping into hole in the sand

Visual Appeal: Better for Products

The most apparent difference between marketing products and services on social media is the visual appeal. Products can be showcased through images, videos, and demos, making it easier to engage potential customers. Services, on the other hand, are intangible, making it more challenging to create visual content. For service marketing, focus on the benefits, results, and emotions associated with your offering. Using storytelling to heighten your visuals is also a smart move. 

hands holding phones

User-Generated Content: Great for Both But Look Different 

User-generated content (UGC) is a useful tool in social media marketing, especially for product marketing. Everyday use of your product amongst people goes a long way. 

84% of consumers say they trust peer recommendations above all other sources of advertising.” – Everyone Social 

In contrast, service providers may need to rely more on customer reviews, testimonials, and case studies to generate user content that highlights the value of their offerings.

Educational Content: Serves Your Service Well 

Services often require a more significant educational component in social media marketing. Potential customers need to understand the benefits, processes, and outcomes of the services they’re considering. How-to videos, informative blog posts, webinars, and Q&As to provide in-depth knowledge and build trust with your audience.

Engagement and Interaction: Great for Both 

When people engage with your content, reward them. Respond to comments, answer questions, and follow them back. When it makes sense, engage with their content. Invite users to message you with further questions to build trust and brand awareness. For products, engagement may focus more on features and usage, while for services, it might involve addressing concerns, clarifying processes, and building relationships with potential clients.

Testimonials and Reviews: Great for Both

Testimonials and reviews are critical for any business. One bad Google review can dent your reputation and drive customers away. Whether it’s a service or a product you’re selling, encourage happy customers to leave reviews and improve your rating. 

Influencer Marketing: Great for Both 

Just like UGC, influencer content has the same power. However, you must choose your influencer wisely. Make sure they’re someone with a deep understanding of marketing and strategy. This will allow them to create timely content that fits your brand just right, whether it’s a product or service. 

According to HubSpot, “33% of Gen Z-ers have bought a product based on an influencer’s recommendation in the past three months.”

Your Turn

Social media marketing for products and services requires distinct strategies. While there’s several tactics that are useful for both, there are a few different ways to approach them. We hope these suggestions prove helpful. Remember, we’re always here to help you with marketing, whatever audience you’re after.